Have you or a loved one ever had a wart on your hand or foot? Warts are more common than you might think; despite this, wart removal is topic few podiatrists speak about extensively. During the many years I’ve been a podiatrist practicing in Michigan, I’ve seen countless cases of patients with foot warts, or plantar warts, who’ve hidden them until they were too uncomfortable to deal with anymore. Successful wart removal is one of my specialties, and depending on how long the patient had the warts I use a multi-faceted approach to treat them for quick results so that my patients don’t have to keep coming back into the office. I use laser electrocautery along with the application of topical salicylic acid, which has a huge success rate; for chronic deep warts I highly recommend surgical excision due to the speed and precision of the results.
However, as a holistic foot doctor, I’m aware of a multitude of interesting, holistic methods to remove warts. As fall and apple-picking season are upon us, it’s the perfect time to explore the holistic wart removal method associated with apple cider vinegar.
Successful wart removal using apple cider vinegar is hotly contested, has dubious efficacy, but a wide array of anecdotal evidence supporting it. I’ve heard from patients who have tried this method before seeing me and have had no luck; likewise, I’ve heard from others that it’s quick and more effective than most OTC medications. With warts being the second most common dermatological complaint right after acne, it makes sense that holistic “at-home” cures spread like wildfire.
As a podiatrist, my first question with any holistic method is how does it work? We know that warts are essentially skin tumors caused by a virus (the human papillomavirus/HPV), which enters the body through tiny cuts and breaks in the skin. So does apple cider vinegar kill the virus?
The short answer is no. Apple cider vinegar does not kill the virus that causes warts, however, the acid in the vinegar attacks the wart area, allowing it to peel away from the healthy surrounding skin & taking the virus with it. Below, I’ve outlined the method individuals are using for holistic wart removal with apple cider vinegar:
MATERIALS NEEDED TO REMOVE FOOT WARTS WITH APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider vinegar (any brand)
Cotton (either cotton balls or cotton cosmetic pads work well)
METHOD FOR REMOVING FOOT WARTS USING APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
1.) Wash and gently dry foot with a towel.
2.) Soak the cotton in apple cider vinegar and place over the wart.
3.) Cover the cotton with a bandaid.
4.) Leave the cotton/bandaid combination on your foot overnight or throughout the day, changing the cotton in the morning and right before bed.
Sounds simple right? During treatment, the wart will likely turn black and the affected area will begin shriveling and pulling away from healthy skin- while this is the desired outcome, most people experience extreme pain during this. Additionally, while the skin is pulling away, you’re opening yourself up to infection- much more dangerous than a wart!! Just look at these pictures of someone undergoing the process (which, mind you, took a long period of time) and imagine how easy it would have been for their toe to get infected with a large, deep opening like that:
In short, I don’t recommend using apple cider vinegar for wart removal- it takes too long, it opens you up to infection, and it make or may not be effective for you. If you or a loved one have plantar warts or foot warts, I urge you to contact my office to make an appointment to see me for the quickest, safest, most reliable results.
Reference: Mayo Clinic article on plantar warts. ( Web Link )
FamilyDoctor.org Wart Fact Sheet